Here is a quick look at our picks for the NFL week one.
Minnesota at New Orleans: New Orleans will win this hard-fought game. The Vikings are missing too many offensive pieces and we are not sold on Brett Favre recapturing the magic from 2009.
Cleveland at Tampa Bay: I don’t see how Tampa doesn’t win this game. They both are stinkers, but Tampa should be a little better.
Miami at Buffalo: This one is a lock. Miami wins this one fairly easily.
Cincinnati at New England: Probably one of the better games of the week. Look for the Bengals to be very competitive against a young Patriots secondary. Cincinnati wins by a touchdown.
Indianapolis at Houston: I think that Houston will beat Indy soon. But doubt it will be this game. Payton Manning has had two months to prepare for this game. Indy wins by two scores.
Denver at Jacksonville: Tebow returns to his quasi stomping grounds. Will he make a difference? If he does, more reason for Florida natives to hate the Jags. Denver should have the power to win this game. Jacksonville is so untalented on offense, especially at the receiver position.
Atlanta at Pittsburgh: As much as I would like to pick Atlanta for this one, Dennis Dixon played well in Big Ben’s absence last year against the Ravens. Against these birds, he should do just as well. Given Pittsburgh is at home, I’ll give it to them. Albeit a close game.
Oakland at Tennessee: Oakland looked better with Jason Campbell under center in the preseason. But will the run defense that haunted them so much last year be able to stop Chris Johnson? Oakland starts slow this season, and will drop this game in Tennessee to a more talented Titans team.
Carolina at New York Giants: These teams are both in a bit of transition. New Yorks defense isn’t what it used to be, Carolina’s offense is going to have some growing pains with a new starting QB. But the Giants are a better team, and it will probably be a defensive battle. But the QB in this game will make the difference. Eli Manning will lead the way for the Giants.
Detroit at Chicago: Detroit is becoming a darling pick this year to be much improved. I think they are still a year away. Starting on the road in Chicago isn’t a bad draw for week one. The Bears defense will always be good, and the addition of Julius Peppers only makes them better. This game will come down to the antics of Jay Cutler and Mike Martz. Bears win this one, but it could be close.
Arizona at St. Louis: Both of these teams are in transition. But Arizona is a clearly better team. Bradford makes his first start against a good Cardinals defense. It won’t be pretty. The Cardinals should win this one by three scores.
Green Bay at Philadelphia: Green Bay is an early NFC super bowl pick. I could agree with that. They have one of the most accurate QB’s in the game, the defense to back it up. The Eagles on the other hand are going in another direction. This is going to be a growing year for Kevin Kolb. This will be a good game, but Green Bay should have this one in the bag.
San Francisco at Seattle: Tough opening day draw for the NFC west favorite 49ers, Seattle is a tough place to play. But the 49ers defense is becoming elite and the Seahawks are just far to young on both sides of the ball. It could be close, but San Fran should prevail in this one.
Dallas at Washington: Another game of the week matchup. Dallas is the more talented team, but banged up on the offensive line. The Redskins are rebuilding, but have a lot of talent. This game is a toss-up, but I’ll take Dallas in this one.
Baltimore at New York Jets: A defensive battle? For sure. But the Ravens have a much better offense this year. Look for TJ and Boldin to do some bright things for the Ravens. And look for Sanchez to feel some growing pains. It will be close, but the Ravens just look better on paper. They take this one by a late field goal.
San Diego at Kansas City: How did this get Monday night? KC is still young, but San Diego is missing some key weapons and is also growing. This one will go to the better QB as well. Phillip Rivers should be able to make due with what he has and win this one going away.